Now that you’ve looked at the things you need in any housing and the limits on what you can actually get, let’s try to figure out what you really want. After all, there may be many housing settings you could live in, but we should focus on finding the place you wish to call home.

Housing Settings That Could Work for You Based on Your Needs and Limits

The first thing to do is to make a list of realistic housing options based on your needs, so that you can compare them. When you make this list, leave some space where you can write down the pros and cons of each housing option.

For example, if you use a wheelchair, need help with bathing and cooking, and have low enough income to qualify for benefits from a housing program, you might have these options:

If so, you’d make a list showing these three options and leave room on your list to make notes about the things you like and dislike about each of them.

See HB101’s Types of Housing section to learn about what housing settings might be options for you.

Figuring Out the Housing Settings You Prefer

With your list of possible housing options in front of you, start thinking about what might be good or bad about each one.


What city, neighborhood, or town do you want to live in? This can be a very important part of where you want to live, and for some people, it is the most important thing. Here are some reasons you might like a specific area:

  • You want to be near family
  • You have a job and want to live near your job
  • You use public transportation a lot and want to be near a bus stop or train station
  • You prefer being in a big city or you like small towns more
  • You want to live where crime rates are lower
  • You want to live in a neighborhood with local shopping options, so you don’t have to drive as much
  • You want to be near friends or other social supports, like your church

All these are good reasons why you might want to live in a certain area. However, you also have to consider cost: generally, areas that are nicer also have higher rents. So, you may not be able to afford living in the exact location you like the most. Your goal should be to look for housing in a place that is acceptable, even if it isn’t perfect.

Whether to Live with Other People

My Vault


Planning Path

Live with Someone

Planning Path: Live with Someone

A Vault path with a series of short activities to help you figure out if living in the community will be easier with another person.

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Go To Path

Another option to consider is whether you want to live with other people, like a friend or family members. If you live with other people, you can:

  • Save money on rent and other expenses
  • Possibly get some help with daily activities
  • Have company and community
  • Share responsibilities and chores
  • Share services you may need, such as cleaning or cooking
  • Live with others who deal with similar situations or who share your goals

This can be nice, but before you choose to live with others, you need to consider potential downsides:

  • Living with others means sharing your living space and some possessions.
  • You might not get along with the people you live with.
  • You may prefer being alone and having your own space.
  • Depending on your setting, you and your housemates may disagree about money.
  • If you get benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), living with others may impact the amount you get each month.

Consider all of these factors before you decide to look at a housing option that involves living with others. Try out this useful worksheet about having a housemate and think about whether it might make sense for you.

Deciding How Important Other Factors Are

What are some of the other things you really want? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a pet? If so, which of your housing options will let your pet live there? (Landlords usually cannot ban your pet if it is a service animal you have as a reasonable accommodation to help you with your disability.)
  • Do you have a car? If so, is it easy to find parking?
  • Does the housing have laundry service, does it have a laundry room, or would you have to go to a laundromat?
  • Does the housing have a dishwasher?
  • Do you prefer to live in a place where no smoking is allowed?
  • Do you want to have a yard or patio so that you can spend time outdoors?
  • Do you have religious beliefs that affect your choice of where you want to live?
  • Do you want to live in an area where other people who speak your first language live?

Once you’ve thought about all of these questions and have an idea about your favorite housing option, you can start to think about how you’ll pay for it.